For now

This August we are having our first annual screen free month. Our only form of communication with the outside world will be in phone calls, snail mail, or good old fashioned visiting.

We have long talked about cutting back on screens, which is hard in our house.

I grew up on a farm in the middle of the woods in a teeny tiny township in Maine. From ages 7-10 we had no electricity, we had an outhouse, our dirt driveway was almost a mile long and in the late winter and early spring we had to leave our car at the mailbox at the end of the driveway. We either walked to the car from the house or vice versa or sometimes we would take the horse and wagon.

Even when the poles came in and we had running water and an indoor toilet, we still didn’t watch much tv. We had the option to, but when your limited to three channels, books and imagination just seem better.

My husband grew up with video games and cable tv and went to school for video game design and is now a software engineer. So of course he is into electronics, it seems to be the norm to have TVs and video games, computers and iPads in the house. But even a little can be too much.

So folks, we are going on a break as I said before. I’ve printed off all the patterns that I will probably not get to, but feel like I might at some point be kicking myself in the butt for not finishing.

Some already started

And some almost finished

We have books, animals and woods to keep us busy. We have homeschool field trips lined up, our annual summer trip to Santa’s village, and camping to look forward to.

The sky will be our television, with it’s glistening stars. The sounds of nature or one of the instruments in the house will bring us our music.

We have plenty of canning that will be happening this month as everything grows in.

I am excited to see how this experiment goes.

See you in a month folks!

Staying cool

Leif is back to his normal, crazy self. He has been spending his afternoons swimming in the lake.

I’m looking forward to my back being healed so I might join him. We don’t have air conditioning at our house, the lake has been our way of keeping cool this summer.

His evenings are spent camping out with dad

This morning he spared an hour of his “survival practice” time to help pick blueberries to freeze and make into jam.

We like to start harvesting berries as soon as they are big and plump. We freeze them for winter snacking and use them to can jams & jellies.

The rest we leave for the bears, because it my personal experience, if you leave fruit for bears, they will leave your animals alone. I’m sure it’s not exactly true for everyone, but on our farm, so far I’ve see plenty of bear scat near where our animals are and yet the bears leave the critters alone.

We have been trying to beat the heat by working in the early mornings and getting chores finished before it gets too hot.

The garden is happy right now, we have been picking plenty of veggies to sell at the farmers market (North Conway Farmers Market if you are up in the White Mountains πŸ˜‰ )

Sunday while it was still cool out and I had the house to myself, I overdyed some yarn I had dyed a while back.

Some New Zealand wool and Corriedale, while I like the colors somewhat, I wanted something different.

The New Zealand wool still has a spot of orange on it, I’m not sure what I will make with it.

The Corriedale (to me), is simply stunning.

It’s also currently up on the Etsy shop.

I am crossing my fingers we see cooler temperatures soon. It is too hot to spin wool and I’m trying to crochet/knit in the early morning hours and late at night when I can stand to touch yarn.

Stay cool folks! 😎

Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of Summer!

School is out and just like that I have a 3rd grader and a 7th grade!

Don’t let my girls sign fool you, she’s moving on up. She has had quite the school year and due to her academic achievements, she is bypassing sixth grade completely. However as mom and dad are not big fans of the middle school in our are, she will be homeschooled once again, only this time with the addition of her best friend.

We have received our curriculum

As well as several educational donations from townsfolk. The girls have been asked back by their art teacher to come in and help teach the younger students, we have a lot of community members offering to teach the girls different skills.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, I am so grateful that our little tiny hamlet of a town wants to pitch in.

Speaking of education, I was able to attend the graduation of a niece and nephew

I was glad to be able watch them get their diplomas and get ready to start the next chapter in their lives. They were both born my freshman year of high school, so I only feel slightly old.

The days are so long and warm now, we have been soaking up the sun while we work, play, relax, and visit with family.

Have a great weekend folks!

Sheep and Gardens

Don’t get too excited, it isn’t what you think. Believe me when I say, that I want this title to be about my very own sheep. Alas, the sheep in which my title refers is to all the beautiful sheep that I saw Mother’s Day weekend at the NH Sheep and Wool festival.

I had my mind made up before I left the house, I had a list & knew what I wanted.

And I will tell you friends, that Alpaca was definitely not on my list

But I bought a pound.

Goat was also not on my list…yep, I bought an entire angora goat fleece.

I had considered buying merino again, from a new vendor this time. Alas I found none. Instead I went to the judging barn and fell in love with a beautiful Corriedale fiber. The only thing I got this was actually on my list was Navajo Churro, I am interested to see how that spins up.

Not everything thing has been washed, but I finally got the chance to washed the beautiful Shetland wool that I was gifted last fall. I’ve been using my new combs and combing up a storm at our booth at the farmers market.

I also has some of NoΓ«l’s fiber to spin up. She has fought me for so long about getting sheared, last week we had a hot day of 85 and she just sat on my lap with no fuss and allowed me to cut away. She looks like a whole new rabbit!

As much as I love snow, I am glad the heat is here. We have been busy transplanting veggies out into the garden beds. Last week we had the help of my nephew who was up from Georgia!

He helped with the beds and helped us fence off two acres of woods for the pigs

The potatoes are getting bigger every day, we planted thirty pounds this year!

Set up a drip irrigation line in the greenhouse

And finally put the babies out with the big girls.

I have two (yes that’s right) projects finished

This beautiful lap blanket that I had been making for my grandmother, I gave it two her two days before she passed.

The second is the mandala waistcoat I had been working on for my cousins wife. This was a challenging project, but I enjoyed making it.

As we are on our first of many days of rain and it is dreary outside, I will end this with a bit of color. I’ve had a request at the farmers market for colorful wool for felting.

And I delivered!

Have a great week folks!!

Warm

The temperature is slowly warming up and everyone is making their way outside.

Though they are now back in the chicken wagon, we fenced off the back end of the greenhouse and let the girls out to stretch and scratch and enjoy the sunshine.

The ducks give us our daily egg hunt, start laying in the duck wagon ladies!

We got five little piggies a week ago, their mom lives at Story land in the summer months, if you see her tell her that her piglets are being spoiled.

We made a four hour round trip to Clinton Maine on Friday, we picked up our order of fruit trees, bought seed potatoes, clover, & trays.

I didn’t want to leave

We had to stop a few adjust the trees (70 mph on a highway for over 100 miles 😳)

We made it home safe and sound, trees unharmed.

Have a great day folks!

New babies

We have been hit with the flu, school has been missed, and house work has been ignored. We’ve spent our time cuddled under blankets with books and “pizza”

Or consuming large amounts of coffee to get us through the day

We won’t let it get us down, there is far to much to do.

Despite the freezing rain coming down outside, we have flowers popping up

We have veggies of all kinds making appearances in our indoor greenhouse

and we have 150 new babies

Making friends with old babies.

My wheel has been fixed and the cake batter romney yarn has been plyed.

Wool combs have arrived

and I can already see a large difference between combing and carding, also carding already combed fiber is softer than regular carded fiber.

The merino for instance. Combed vs carded. Not perfect as I am realizing this merino was picked out when I had no idea how to pick wool and I have a lot of second cuts it appears. I know better now.

Look how nice and clean the romney looks, free of dirt and neps.

Combed and carded together.

My mind is racing with different ideas for this wool. Will I stick it on Etsy, will I dye it and spin it? I’m just not sure. I can say that I am very excited for the fiber festival in a few weeks.

Have a great day folks!

The wheel isn’t turning

And that is because my spinning wheel broke today, I am hoping that it is an easy fix because I was in the middle of plying this gorgeous romney I blended together.

I have been having so much fun blending batts lately, I wanted to finally spin some up to see how they turn out….I’m also trying to keep myself occupied spinning these batts while I impatiently await my recently purchased wool combs from Susan’s fiber…I won’t lie, the fact that she allows sheep to roam around her shop was the reason I choose to buy from her πŸ˜‚

I have so much merino waiting in my basement to play with, but it does not turn out well when I run into through my drum carder….the one I spent almost two years researching…the one that claimed it was for fine fiber like merino (it was written right in the description!!!)

I am excited to try out these combs and see how well they work (Hopefully better than my handmade combs 😞 not very pretty & it’s just tetanus waiting to happen)

The snow is starting to melt, the chickens are laying over 80 eggs a day, we have 150 chicks arriving any day now (I hope) & seeds have been started for this years garden.

We have been making plans for when the snow melts. A wattle fence is on the list, more fruit trees & berry bushes (Elderberry Jam anyone?).

The fiber festival is happening soon, because of course the 60lbs in my basement just isn’t enough, one must try out all wool options before choosing a breed of sheep.

Another big trip will be to Fedco in Maine, for their annual tree sale, lots of fun planned for the year!

Have a great weekend folks!